We enjoy the food at a particular restaurant that, due to location, we are not able to frequent and predicting that we would be in the area is usually last minute. So, we were nearby around 5pm and were at the restaurant by half past. It's a little bit upscale, and their food is in good demand due to the quality and selection, but it's not an exclusive place by any means.
In a nutshell, this place was EMPTY, yet when we explained that we didn't have reservations, they refused to seat us. With 10 year-old in tow, the bar was not an option. The hostess said that they had a booked night of reservations to honor. I understand that, but it was quite early and my thinking was that we'd be long gone before the reservation crowd. I guess I was wrong. And they certainly had the right to refuse, so no hard feelings. I was surprised that A. Many people make reservations so early on a Friday night... we wouldn't usually make reservations before 7:30 unless we had an event before which we were dining... and B. that a restaurant would book 100% for reservations leaving nothing for walk-ins. This is not a place that is booked months in advance. In fact, I called them after we left and they had reservation openings for 7:00 ( which was a little later than we wanted to dine because our kiddo was "starving"). I was just surprised and wondering what other chowhounders thought. Is this common or a quirk of the place?